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Report, 2005

Conservation farming in Zambia

Nolin, Jens; von, Essen Carl-Fredrik;

Abstract

The first objective was to evaluate fanners' perceptions, rate of adoption, and constraints to adopt conservation farming. The second objective was to give an indication of the soil fertility and to verify if the CF tillage practices changed the soil properties. In the first part of the study, flexible in-depth semi-structured interviews, participatory rural appraisal tools, and questionnaires were performed. In the second part, soil samples were analyzed from three different fields: conventional ploughing, permanent planting basins, and ripping. Infiltration rate, bulk density, organic matter, pH, mineral nitrogen, and Olsen-phosphorus content were measured with the intention of comparing the different farming practices. The overall study was carried out in Mboole and Mujika in the southern province of Zambia. Most farmers tried different tillage techniques in different ways, not always as recommended, and adopted sometimes these techniques on the whole or parts of their farm. Those who were less wealthy and did not have access to animal draft power adopted permanent planting basins of food security reasons. The Magoye ripper was used as a complement to the plough and was not used as prescribed. Crop rotation was inadequate, partly due to lack of market for the produce, partly because fanners found no use of cover crops or green manuring. Conservation farming practices gave better yield but demanded more labor input, especially for land preparation and weeding. Occasionally, the extension personnel did not satisfactorily carry through essential steps in the Agricultural Support Program outline. The fanners' norms, cultures, and traditions were n01 comprehensively investigated to evaluate their attitude and values. The statistical analysis revealed that basins had a significantly higher infiltration than the other treatments. No significant differences of pH and organic matter content were detected in the compared treatments. There were no significant differences in soil fertility

Keywords

conservation farming; Zambia; soil fertility; soil properties; farmers perception

Published in

Meddelanden från Jordbearbetningsavdelningen

2005, number: 48
Publisher: Institutionen för markvetenskap, Avdelningen för jordbearbetning

Authors' information

Von Essen, Carl-Fredrik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences
Nolin, Jens
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/31011